NLIHC is maintaining a COVID-19/Housing and Homelessness News and Resource page here.
Department of the Treasury
The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) released the reallocation amounts for ERA2 Quarter 1 Reallocation and Designated Voluntary Reallocations on October 18. Treasury released on October 21 the reallocation amounts for ERA 1 Tribal Reallocations and ERA1 Round 3 Designated Voluntary Reallocations.
Treasury directs Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program recipients with questions about reporting, technical problems, eligible uses of funds, or other issues to its ERA Self-Service Resources.
State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) recipients with questions about reporting, eligible uses of funds, or other items can find answers on Treasury’s SLFRF Self-Service Resources webpage.
State and Local News
A list of state and local emergency rental assistance programs is available here from NLIHC.
The Jefferson County Commission, in partnership with the Birmingham Urban League, is reopening applications for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). After launching in 2020, ERAP paused applications in June 2022 due to the depletion of funds. The program is reopening after receiving additional funding.
Evictions are increasing across Maricopa County, with eviction filings rising in Phoenix for the third month in a row. Eviction filings are not just surpassing pre-pandemic levels – they are hitting historically high levels. In September, 6,685 evictions were filed in Maricopa County, the highest number since 2008. Rental assistance is still available in Maricopa County, Phoenix, Glendale, and Mesa. Tenant advocates are urging Arizona lawmakers to invest in long-term solutions to the affordable housing crisis.
Thousands of households approved for San Diego County’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program are facing eviction after receiving notice that the rental assistance they were approved for would not be paid. The county continued to accept applications for the months of April through June, without knowledge whether additional funds would be made available. Applicants with pending requests for April, May, or June 2022 were notified that there is no available funding to cover those months.
According to the Mercury News, evictions are soaring across the Bay Area following the expiration of state and local pandemic eviction protections over the past year. Evictions across the core five counties of the Bay Area have more than doubled since last year. More than 6,300 evictions were filed from July 2021 through June 2022. The surge in evictions occurred when emergency tenant protections were rolled back in September 2021, and filings have spiked even higher as statewide protections were progressively lifted.
Since June, eviction filings in Colorado have risen to their highest level in nearly three years. More than 3,000 evictions were filed in the past three months, a benchmark not reached since February 2020. State officials predict that emergency rental assistance will be depleted by early 2023.
After temporarily stopping accepting new applications in September, the Delaware Housing Assistance Program (DEHAP) reopened applications with new guidelines. The Delaware Housing Authority hopes to keep the emergency rental assistance program open until 2025. The program lowered the income cap for applicants from 80% of the area median income (AMI) to 50% of AMI. The program now caps monthly rental assistance at $1,500, rather than $2,000. Additionally, the program now requires most applicants to provide proof of income, rather than allowing self-attestation. Treasury strongly discourages ERA grantees from requiring burdensome documentation requirements. ERA programs should allow applicants to self-attest that they meet eligibility requirements. See Treasury’s resource on self-attestation and check out NLIHC’s ERA Resource Hub for examples of how programs are incorporating self-attestation to expand access to ERA.
Following the end of pandemic-era eviction protections, evictions in Miami-Dade County increased this year by 45% in June, 52% in April, and an astonishing 84% in May compared to the same months in 2021. Nearly 1,600 evictions were filed in June – the highest number of evictions filed for the quarter.
Residents of Lake County, Illinois, may submit applications to the Lake County Rental Assistance Program through November 15. The $6 million program is funded through Treasury’s emergency rental assistance program.
The Homeless Coalition of Southern Indiana is warning that the region’s housing needs are reaching crisis levels. Southern Indiana residents are facing increasing evictions and growing housing instability, and local agencies are concerned that they lack the capacity to meet the overwhelming demand for assistance.
The Portland City Council voted on October 18 to extend an emergency rent cap and eviction moratorium for an additional six months while it continues to review a permanent rent stabilization proposal. If approved at a second reading on November 1, the moratorium and emergency cap would remain in place for an additional 180 days, through May 26. Council members unanimously supported the extension, noting that it was the right course of action given reports that some landlords are threatening to collect back rent and impose late fees when the rent cap is lifted.
Housing advocates in Massachusetts are concerned that a new policy regarding the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program will prevent eligible tenants from accessing needed emergency rental assistance (ERA). Governor Charlie Baker’s administration implemented on August 1 a new policy limiting access to RAFT to tenants who have received an eviction notice or court summons or whose landlords have filed a notice to quit. Advocates argue that the new eligibility requirement is preventing eligible households from accessing aid and leading to preventable evictions.
As of October 14, the Missouri State Assistance for Housing Relief program has distributed $438.6 million in federal COVID-19 housing relief, including over $413 million in rental assistance.
New Hampshire will not receive any additional resources to continue its Emergency Rental Assistance program beyond December 29, 2022. In response, the state will pause incoming applications under the NH Emergency Rental Assistance Program (NHERAP). After October 21, new applications will not be accepted pending a review of backlogged applications, the amount of available federal funding, and the status of existing state requests to the U.S. Department of the Treasury for additional funding.
A new report released by Make the Road NJ, an immigrant advocacy group, finds that New Jersey immigrants have been among the hardest hit by the state’s affordable housing crisis and the economic impacts of COVID-19. Roughly 58,000 evictions were filed by New Jersey landlords in the first half of 2022, with low-income renters of color disproportionately impacted. The report states that because many immigrants were barred from receiving federal COVID-19 relief and state unemployment benefits, a disproportionate share of immigrant New Jersey residents are at risk of losing their homes. Although New Jersey’s emergency rental assistance (ERA) programs did not restrict eligibility based on immigration status, persistent fears about public charge, language barriers, informal rental situations, and other barriers prevented many New Jersey immigrants from accessing ERA. Read the full report.
The City of Columbus and Franklin County awarded $3 million in federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) funds to the Columbus Urban League. The Columbus Urban League has provided ERA to approximately 1,700 families in the past year.
Evictions are on the rise across North Texas. Evictions in Dallas County in September reached a five-year high as federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) funds run out. According to the Child Poverty Action Lab, landlords filed 4,045 evictions in Dallas County in September. Through September, 32,890 evictions had been filed in the county during 2022 – an average of 135 per day. Both the city of Dallas and Dallas County have committed 100% of their federal emergency rental assistance funds.
As of September, monthly eviction filings in Virginia are at 87.5% of the historical average. Following the end of many pandemic-era renter protections, monthly eviction filings in Virginia have tripled since January.
Grays Harbor residents can apply for assistance through the Eviction Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) starting on November 9.
The Wyoming Department of Family Services announced on October 21 that the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) will stop taking new applications and letters of intent on November 10 because it expects to run out of funds by early spring 2023. The changes will only impact individuals who have not previously received ERAP. For the time being, the program will continue to fund extension requests for enrolled and eligible households.